Department for Education works on privacy API for National Pupil Database

UK Authority reported today, based on a procurement notice, that The Department for Education (DfE) is aiming to develop a privacy controlling API for access to its National Pupil Database (NPD) in England. It says that the project is, “an early step in a broader programme to maximise the benefits of its data by providing fast and secure access to users who can create value,” and that its, “potential benefit…

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Queen’s speech: safeguarding children, data, and digital rights

The Queen’s Speech promises new laws to ensure that, “the United Kingdom retains its world-class regime protecting personal data”. And a new digital charter to make the UK the safest place to be online for children. The briefing background suggests the government intends to tackle new challenges and threats – ‘to our security, privacy, emotional wellbeing, mental health and the safety of our children’. They commit to  ‘respond to these…

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What’s Next? Under 364 days to fix pupil data privacy.

After the General Election on June 8th, and machinery of government changes, we look forward to continuing work-in-progress with the Department for Education and government regards children and young people’s data privacy and digital rights. We have been given commitments that: “the Department is currently reviewing data access processes across the entire Department and the transparency of these. “the aim is to be transparent about all requests not just the…

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Letter to schools: Take action today on School Census nationality data

Dear Head, Dear School Census Administrator, May 18th, is the summer school census on-roll day. We hope that you will take action to safeguard your children from the unknown uses of the new data collected this year 2016/17: nationality country of birth These data are optional and are NOT used for funding. You have a legal duty to inform parents and pupils what their personal data may be used for,…

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Ten steps for schools why and how to refuse nationality in school census

There is less than one week left for parents and schools to retract pupils’ nationality and country of birth data before the national summer school census on May 18, as offered in the latest Department for Education census guidance. Act now to retract nationality data already submitted to DfE. It is optional and not required. Parents can retract data already submitted. Lord Nash, November 24, 2016: “If parents have previously…

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Children’s voice won’t be heard in DCMS consultation on data privacy

Children under 16 in the UK will lose the right to use children’s websites (other than those offering ‘counselling services’) without showing evidence of parental approval from May next year. That is, unless the government acts to lower the age requirement for some, to between 16 and a lower threshold of as young as thirteen. This is just one of the areas on which the government must make a decision…

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Ten steps for parents and schools: how and why to retract nationality data

There is less than one month left for parents and schools to retract pupils’ nationality and country of birth data before the national summer school census on May 18, as offered in the latest Department for Education census guidance. Act now. For background detail follow the links in red. Schools are legally responsible for fair processing – telling pupils, parents, staff and school governors what is done with any personal…

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New review of school census data releases from the National Pupil Database

Here is our review of the latest releases of pupil data disclosed from the National Pupil Database (NPD) as stated in the Third Party Register. Of the 887 requests and releases of identifiable data that have been through the DfE request process in March 2012 – December 2016, only 29 have been for aggregated data. 334 Tier 1: individual level, identifiable and highly sensitive 368 Tier 2: individual level, identifiable…

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Response: Ofsted to use private social media to predict performance in schools

Our response to School’s Week report, “Ofsted considers tracking Facebook and Twitter to check on schools.” Ofsted’s innovation and regulation plan published this week stated that Oftsed was engaging with DfE in a data science project to explore the possibility of using near-realtime data and information from social media and other sources to predict and prevent decline in school performance. It is sensible to see how future technological developments may…

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Quarterly round up: children’s pupil data privacy in England Q1 2017

In the first quarter of 2017 there have been a number of policy announcements and pieces of legislation passed that affect children’s data privacy in England. We have continued our work towards safe, fair, and transparent collection and use of national pupil data. School census: Moving pupil data towards safe, fair, and transparent use The UK Digital Strategy announced a committment to changes in National Pupil Data management. That will…

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